Karen Farzam is a web developer, startup founder, and recent GA alum. She is the co-founder of W Hub, a profile-driven platform that showcases the entrepreneur and team behind the startup, and Women Who Code HK, a non-profit organization which inspires women to excel in careers in technology.
1. What were you doing before you came to GA?
I had just started working on my startup W Hub.
2. What brought you to GA?
We were about to hire a web developer for W Hub. As an engineer, I studied computer science and thought I could therefore learn to code and build the website myself. We did not hire the web developer and I took GA’s Web Development Immersive (WDI) instead. I started building W Hub during WDI and the website is now live.
3. Have you always wanted to start your own business?
I have not always wanted to start my own business, but my co-founder Karena Belin and I believed in our idea and decided to go for it.
4. Tell us about your company.
W Hub is a profile driven platform showcasing entrepreneurs to help them bring their business to the next level and attract skillful talent. W Hub not only showcases their products and services but also the start-up founders, team, mission and vision.
Women Who Code HK was launched last January, and since has grown to more than 100 members. It is a non-profit organization which inspires women to excel in careers in technology and advocates for gender diversification in the workplace. We organize monthly events featuring technology experts.
4a. Where did the idea/inspiration for W Hub come from?
Everything began around a cup of coffee on a Monday morning. Sitting with my friend Karena Belin, who would became my co-founder, we wondered why so many talented people could not find a job they really care about ? At the time, I was looking at several opportunities to start my own business, and I realized that many ideas were unexplored just because you can’t find the right partner.
I was digging deeper in the startup ecosystem and discovered passionate entrepreneurs and exciting startups. One of their biggest challenges is to recruit the right team to help them unleash their potential. We had a match!
Startups have a lot to offer but they are different than corporates. Startups can offer flexibility in terms of time, location and responsibilities, as well as a chance to make an impact on society. We believe that if startups can showcase more than just their products or services, but also the founders/team, their mission and values, they could attract more talent that share that same vision and therefore will fit the company culture.
W Hub showcases passionate startups to help them bring their business to the next level by hiring the right talent/co-founder, but also meet like-minded entrepreneurs.
5. How do you currently promote W Hub?
So far it has been only word of mouth and we attend events to talk directly to entrepreneurs and everyone interested in the startup ecosystem.
6. Any challenges that you didn’t expect?
I expected every step to be a challenge; therefore, I had good surprises instead.
7. What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself since starting your own business?
When you are passionate about what you do, you are relentlessly resourceful.
8. Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Listen carefully to everyone but make up your own mind.
9. Any Exciting startup stories you can share?
It is such an honor to work with passionate entrepreneurs. I have met so motivated and inspirational entrepreneurs who believe in their vision and mission.
I have just been awarded regional winner in the TalentUnleashed Awards and now competing for the final round (jury Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak) in the category “Inspirational Leadership.” Please help me meet Sir Richard Branson himself and vote for me.
10. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Karena (my co-founder) and I just registered for the MoonTrekker in October. It’s a 43km night hike. I guess we like to push our limits! I work a lot and I don’t have a time to watch tv, but I admit I have a weakness for Game of Thrones.
11. Please share any links to press you’ve had thus far.
You can visit my personal website: karenfarzam.com, all the press links are on it.
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